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The Preview by Alagappan Muthu
September 28, 2013
Match factsSeptember 30, 2013
Sunrisers Hyderabad will be a nervous lot before they take on Brisbane Heat in Ahmedabad, not because of the Big Bash champions' menace, which is almost non-existent. Their concerns will revolve around the first game in Monday's double-header: if Titans beat Trinidad & Tobago, Sunrisers' semi-final hopes will end. Heat are already familiar with that after their loss against Chennai Super Kings.
Adding to that are Sunrisers' troubles during the middle overs. Though Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel have formed an effective union at the top of the order - they are the only opening pair to share two fifty-partnerships in the tournament proper, in addition to a century stand in the qualifiers - there's been little impact from the other local batting talent available. Heat's bowling, which has been their better discipline by far, would do well to exhibit patience against the Sunrisers openers and direct their short-pitched bowling at the middle order.
Should T&T beat Titans, Sunrisers would need a big win against Heat, and for T&T to lose their final game, to leapfrog them on net run-rate. As such Dhawan's captaincy, which has lacked in flexibility, comes into sharp focus. The only surprise he has put forth is how little he has used his spinners. Karn Sharma, who was an impressive find during the last IPL, has bowled only 6.2 overs in six matches. He has also persisted with Thisara Perera's medium pace, without much reason to.
Heat have endured spectacular batting malfunctions in the competition. They lost four wickets in three overs against T&T, three in three overs twice - against Titans and were 66 for 6 in the 13th over against Super Kings, when they handed a debut to Dom Michael, who was playing 2nd XI cricket until a month ago. He bagged a two-ball duck.
Players to watchAmit Mishra has been utilised quite sparingly by his captain, not once completing his full quota in the main stage. But against a batting-line up packed with right-handers, which also floundered against spin in their last outing, Mishra might have a much bigger role to play. After all, R Ashwin's lone wicket against Heat came off an orthodox legspinner.
Brisbane Heat have been wanting a captain's innings for quite a while now but James Hopes hasn't delivered. He has lasted beyond the fourth over in only one game, when his strike-rate was below 85. He would hope to make an improvement in those statistics when he leads his team out to for their final match of the tournament.
Quotes"Everyone's trying as hard as they can and hitting as many balls as they can but we haven't been able to do the same in the middle and score some runs"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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